Cable broadband business grows while telco subs fade

by Steve Blum • ,

Cat videos included.

Overall growth in broadband subscriptions is slowing but is still in positive numbers in the U.S. That’s the conclusion of a tabulation by Leichtman Research Group. Looking at the fourteen largest cable and telco broadband providers, which account for “about 95% of the market”, the aggregate count grew by only 190,000 high speed subscribers in the second quarter of this year. According to Leichtman, that’s the lowest quarterly figure since they starting keeping track of Internet service providers fifteen years ago.

It’s not a fluke. The past seven quarters are the quarters with the lowest net subscriptions adds over those years.

A deeper dive into the numbers, though, shows that the bad news is mostly coming from telephone companies. Cable companies are still posting respectable growth figures. The seven on Leichtman’s list – Comcast, Charter, Altice, Mediacom, WOW, Cable One and Cox – added 523,000 high speed subs, which was “the most in any second quarter since 2008”.

That’s not bad for a quarter that’s known for heavier than average churn figures, although it’s about half of the one million net new subs cable gained in the first quarter of 2016. Over the last year, cable broadband subscriptions have grown by 3.5 million units.